Summer Chill by Joe Webb review – the soundtrack to an imaginary 60s pool party

Stuck, like all musicians, in the tedium of recent lockdowns, pianist Joe Webb found relief in the cheerful music and uncomplicated teenage movies of the 1950s and 60s. As a kind of memento, before moving on, he recorded these 10 numbers with his quintet, arranging them as the soundtrack to an imaginary 60s pool party film. Mel Tormé, LaVern Baker, Erroll Garner, even Cannonball Adderley – I’m no expert in the genre, and I’m certainly not complaining, but that seems a bit on the classy side to me.

Anyway, it’s a musician’s choice and he’s playing it. You can find quite a lot of jazz influence in 60s popular music, and it’s there in most of these tracks. They’re tuneful and catchy; at around three minutes each they have to be. Songs that originally featured vocals come across nicely as instrumentals, particularly Yea Yea, with Webb playing organ, Georgie Fame-style. Instrumental tunes are treated more like mini-jazz performances. There are many limitations in the task he set himself, but Webb handles them all adroitly. You don’t need a pool party; try this at your next barbecue.